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Monday, November 14, 2016

NEVER AGAIN

The appointment of Steve Bannon as Senior Counselor and Chief Strategist in the Trump White House removes any lingering doubts about Trump.  He is a fascist, quite simply, and an existential threat to democracy in the United States.  Please spare me any nonsense about how America is not now a democracy because of this or that or the other.  If you cannot see the difference between Trump and Obama, or Trump and George W. Bush, or Trump and Hillary Clinton, then we do not have a useful conversation to engage in.  More than twenty of my European relatives were murdered in the death camps by the Nazis.  Will Trump come for the Jews this time?  No.  he will come for the Latino and Latina Americans, he will come for the gay and lesbian and bisexual Americans, he will come for any woman who needs to terminate a pregnancy.  And he will wrap the viciousness in populist bunting, dramatically declining to take a salary -- cheered on by people with hate in their hearts and rage on their faces.

It is now perfectly clear who my comrades are and who my enemies are.  My comrades are those who choose to fight Trump, from whatever economic or religious or ideological standpoint.  My enemies are those who support him for any reason, those who trim, those who compromise, those who say "on the one hand, but then again on the other hand."

What is to be done?  I do not know, beyond what I have said.  There are more important people than I who will lead the struggle, and I shall fall in line behind them, supporting them in any way I can.  One of our greatest enemies is the delusion that this is all regrettable but normal, no more than the usual ebb and flow of partisan advantage in a representative republic.

10 comments:

Chris said...

One issue worrying me is that there are those like us (readers of the blog and many many more) who argue that resistance to Trump began 11/9, and does not stop until he's out of power, versus those who - ought to be our allies - but instead say first "let's give him a chance to govern" (e.g., Obama, Clinton, etc). You don't give a fascist a shot and then resist, by then it may well be too late, you resist instantly so it's never too late to continue resisting. I'm not sure how we handle this? That is, how do we handle the fact our potential allies are presently laying out the red carpet for Trump?

Robert Paul Wolff said...

I agree, but these are early days. There are more than two months before he is inaugurated. We need to do what we can to build resistance now. His appointment of Bannon may help us, because it is a blatant affront to so many organized groups in the country. It will help, perhaps, that Clinton won the popular vote, robbing Trump of a certain amount of legitimacy in the eyes of those inclined to assume that things will pretty much go on as usual. I honestly do not know. I am already having daydreams of offering sanctuary and a place to hide to those targeted for deportation.

Andrew Lionel Blais said...

Yes. It has seemed to me for some time that those who cannot see, or refuse to see that Trump is importantly different from Clinton are not my comrades. They have seemed to be either unwitting or willing advocates for Trump. As being a comrade is not forever, however, neither is being a foe. So, there may be hope for a larger unity. Socialism might arise out of the trash that results from this flash of Trump destruction, but it seems that the cost will be an extraordinarily high number of destroyed lives. It will be a battle just to minimize the destruction and return to what seemed to many as the oh-so-horrible status quo....

s. wallerstein said...

According to a poll published today, 78% of Chileans have a negative image of Trump, while only 20% have a positive image.

biobiochile.cl/noticias/nacional/chile/2016/11/14/cadem-63-de-los-chilenos-cree-que-el-gobierno-trump-sera-negativo-para-el-pais.shtml

(link in Spanish)

Chris said...

As I've said, my wife and her Mom and sister are part Mexican, I've definitely had some sanctuary daydreams too. Worst of all, the Mom, Dad, and Sister voted Trump... Hiding people from their own President!?

J. W. F. said...

There are already indications that Trump's circle is reaching out and coordinating with far-right nationalist parties UKIP and Front National, presumably through the guidance of Bannon. Putin has been backing and funding nationalist movements in Europe to break European unity in order to annex the Baltic states. It is not known whether UKIP is funded by Russia, but FN definitely receives Russian funding. NATO leaders have already indicated that Trump's public stance on NATO has reduced the perception that it is a credible threat under Article 5. I'd imagine the American military intelligence establishment must be tearing their hair out at this point. Meanwhile, in crazyland, Gingrich is publicly denying any connection between Trump and the alt-right.

Tom Cathcart said...

Timing and finesse are crucial. The last thing we need is to reinforce the perception of the white, rural, working class that we are interested only in the Others. As one Trump voter was quoted in the Times, "The Democrats used to be the champions of the working class. Now they're only the champions of minorities and gays." I didn't hear that as necessarily bigoted, maybe rather a cri de coeur of "What about us too?" I think to act too preemptively might make us look as hysterical as the right-wingers who pass state laws against sharia law. I'm not advocating quietism, just wisdom to pick our battles carefully.

LFC said...

Speaking of foreign affairs, as J.W.F. (above) is, unfortunate things are happening in Israel as a result of Trump's election. The Netanyahu govt was always bad, but now feels free to, e.g., enact a law legalizing West Bank settlements built on privately owned Palestinian land (according to a WaPo story I just saw). The '2-state solution' was not going anywhere anyway, but it's off the table completely once Trump takes the oath and as long as Trump and Netanuyahu are in their respective offices.

Bannon is awful, needless to say, and it's perhaps prudent to prepare for the worst. However, there is also the pitfall of being too sure of what is going to happen (e.g. "It is clear that Clinton is going to win the election"). We don't know for certain yet precisely how Trump is going to behave, what role Bannon will play exactly, what kind of relationship there will be Bannon and Preibus, how much power each will wield, the extent to which their agendas may or may not diverge, the role of the Repubs in Congress, and so on. To use a hackneyed cliché, the best course might be to stock up on (metaphorical) powder but keep it dry until the Trump admin actually takes office or at least until a few more appointments are made.

Trump apparently (I didn't see the interview, but from what I've heard) had to be prodded a bit on '60 Minutes' to criticize the various hate incidents that have occurred since the election. That he didn't do so right off the bat is disturbing, if not surprising. All in all, it's going to be a bumpy ride.

LFC said...

p.s. I guess clichés are hackneyed by definition, aren't they?

Aleta Quinn said...

" removes any lingering doubts about Trump." It's funny, you're a bit ahead of the curve on this, but this whole week has been one person whose views I respect after another saying "OK OK but THAT is it!" And it's a different "THAT" each time. So I wouldn't worry too much about the people saying "give him a chance". It's just taking some time is all. Incidentally the kids are still out marching here in LA.